“Yet it is not the Prince, but the grateful scholar who gives it to you,” said Frederick William, “and in proof of this I have written these words, which I will read to you myself.” He bent over the paper, and read: “We have voluntarily and with due consideration promised and engaged to give to Baron Leuchtmar von Kalkhun this estate of Neuenhof, out of the particular and friendly affection which we bear to him. We also swear that if we hereafter attain to power and authority, and our much-esteemed Romilian von Leuchtmar be to our sorrow cut off by death, we in the same way will this estate to his eldest son, and grant him the enjoyment of all that we assigned and destined for his father in his lifetime."
“That is indeed to carry happiness and reward beyond the grave!” cried Leuchtmar, with tears in his eyes. “Oh, I thank you, my Prince, thank you from my inmost soul, for myself and my children!”
“You have nothing at all to thank me for, friend,” said the Prince. “I shall ever be much more in your debt. If, however, I some day become a good Prince to my country and a father to my people, then you must reflect that this is the return I make to you, my teacher, my educator! You see I hope in the future, and think that I shall succeed in evading murderous designs and fulfill my aims. But, indeed, your warning I may never forget, and circumspect I must be first of all. Wear a mask, as Brutus did! Let me embrace you once more, friend Leuchtmar; look me once more in the eye. And now—I hear some one coming! Farewell, Leuchtmar! I put on my mask and not for a moment can I withdraw it from my features.”
The door was now opened, a valet entered and announced, “Her highness the Electress!” And before the Electoral Prince had time to advance, the Electress had entered the room.
“I come to welcome you once more, my Frederick!” she cried, stretching out her arms to her son. “Entirely without witnesses, simply as his mother would I greet my son, and tell him how happy I am that he is once more here.”
She flung her arms around her son’s neck, and pressed him ardently to her bosom. Baron Leuchtmar, who upon the Electress’s approach had stepped aside, now crept softly through the apartment to the door, and was already in the act of opening it, when the Electress quickly raised her head and looked around.
“Stay where you are, Baron Leuchtmar,” she said; “why would you slip away from us?”
“I may not presume by my presence to disturb the confidential discourse between the Electress and her son.”
“You do not disturb us at all, for you belong to us, Leuchtmar,” replied Charlotte Elizabeth, nodding kindly to him. “On the contrary, I will tell you that I knew you were here, and came here on that very account, in order to salute you without witnesses, and to have a private conversation with you and my son. For well I know, Leuchtmar, that we may confide in you, and that you belong to us—that is to say, to the enemies of Schwarzenberg, to the enemies of the Imperialists and Catholics, to the friends of the Swedes and Reformers.”